How tall was Basil Rathbone

Basil Rathbone's Height

6ft 1 ¼ (186.1 cm)

South-African born British actor, best remembered for his roles in David Copperfield, Captain Blood, Romeo and Juliet, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Son of Frankenstein, The Hound of Baskervilles, Tower of London, The Mark of Zorro, The Court Jester and Tales of Terror. In a 1937 news article it mentioned he "Stands a fraction under 6 feet 2 inches, weighs 170 pounds".

Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes

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Add a Comment74 comments

Average Guess (9 Votes)
6ft 1.39in (186.4cm)
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 15/Mar/19
Interesting take Mister Lennon. He could look 6ft2 at times
Neelasish Send Roy said on 14/Mar/19
Rob, please put him 6'1.5"(187cm) which his real height, although he claimed to be 6'2" or a fraction under 6'2" himself.
Mister lennon said on 14/Mar/19
I see him more as a solid or strong 6'2 than a strong 6'1. 188-189 range, i think.
Neelasish Send Roy said on 13/Mar/19
Rob, please put him 6'1.5"(187cm) which his real height, although he claimed to be 6'2" or a fraction under 6'2" himself.
Neelasish Send Roy said on 1/Mar/19
In most of his website is given that he was 6'1.5"(187cm) tall and weighs 170lbs(77kg),Rob?
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 16/Feb/19
Wouldn’t hesitate to give him C, B I can believe he got earlier in the day.

Probably did clear 6ft2 out of bed
Neelasish Send Roy said on 12/Feb/19
What is the peak height of Basil Rainbow you think between this 5 heights, Rob?
A)6'2"/188cm
B)6'1.75"/187.5cm
C)6'1.5"/187cm
D)6'1.25"/186cm
E)6'1"/185cm
Editor Rob
B for me is too high anywhere in D-C zone could be argued
Neelasish Sen Roy said on 26/Oct/18
He looks 6'2" in 1910's-1950's.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 25/Oct/18
He may have been 6ft1½ actually
Neelasish Sen Roy said on 21/Sep/18
In "Wake of the Red Witch" Dennis Hoey was taller than John Wayne. So John Wayne was 6'3.75" and Dennis Hoey was 6'4" tall.
Neelasish Sen Roy said on 8/Sep/18
What was basil rathbone real height 6'1.5" or 6'1" or 6'1.25" or upto 6'2",Rob?
Neelasish Sen Roy said on 8/Sep/18
What was basil rathbone real height 6'1.5" or 6'1"
Neelasish Sen Roy said on 5/Sep/18
Please,Rob list him with 6'2 1/4"(188.6cm) actors.6'1 1/4"(186cm) is for nigel bruce.
Neelasish Sen Roy said on 30/Aug/18
He had mentioned that he stands a fraction over 6'2" & weighs 196 pounds.
Neelasish Sen Roy said on 28/Aug/18
I think he was solid 6'2" with 6'4" Vincent Price at 1960's and 6'2.5" with same height errol flynn.
Neelasish Sen Roy said on 22/Aug/18
It is argueable to say that Sir Basil Rathbone was only 6'1 1/4" tall.But that was not true. In most of the picture he looks nearer to 6'3" guy. He looks same as 6'2.5" tall Briane Ahrene and Randolph Scott. He was only half an inch shorter than 6'3" Gary Cooper. So he was 6'2.5" (189cm) tall and weighs 14 stones.
Neelasish Sen Roy said on 22/Aug/18
Until 1946 he was 189cm then heshrinks into 188cm. At his final years he was 187cm not less than it.
Mister lennon said on 15/Aug/18
I would say 188-189 peak.
Neelasish Sen Roy said on 13/Aug/18
He looks not more than 2 cm shorter than 6'3" Gary Cooper. Am I right rob?
Neelasish Sen Roy said on 5/Aug/18
He is 7-8 inches or 7.5 inches taller than humphrey bogart
Rabindra sankar sen roy said on 23/Jun/18
Fred Mcmurray and Basil Rathbone had same height 6'2.75"/190cm.George Sanders have same height with basil rathbone.C Aubrey Smith was 6'4" at that time.But in 1915 Sir Rathbone was measured 6'3.25" and 14.3 stones in british army or even 6'3" after a great struggle in was he shrinks 1/2- 1 inch shorter that was 6'2"-6'2.5".
Rabindra sankar sen roy said on 23/Jun/18
Fred Mcmurray and Basil Rathbone had same height 6'2.75"/190cm.C Aubrey Smith was 6'4" at that time.But in 1915 Sir Rathbone was measured 6'3.25" and 14.3 stones in british army or even 6'3" after a great struggle in was he shrinks 1/2- 1 inch shorter that was 6'2"-6'2.5".
Rabindra sankar sen roy said on 23/Jun/18
Fred Mcmurray and Basil Rathbone had same height 6'2.75"/190cm.C Aubrey Smith was 6'4" at that time.
Rabindra sankar sen roy said on 22/Jun/18
I am sorry but see the picture with gary cooper and gary cooper with gregory peck you will see both gregory peck and basil rathbone were half- an inch shorter than than cooper. I think cooper would be 6'3" or even 6'3.5" at peak. By seeing these two photos in my my opinion rathbone or peck were under 6'3". There heights were 6'2.5" solid. Nigel bruce was solid 6'1.5" same as grant and an inch shorter than rathbone.He is solid 6'2.5"/189cm.errol flynn is 6'2.25" with rathbone in dawn patrol and niven would be 6'1" same as clark gable.
Rabindra sankar sen roy said on 22/Jun/18
I am sorry but see the picture with gary cooper and gary cooper with gregory peck you will see both gregory peck and basil rathbone were half- an inch shorter than than cooper. I think cooper would be 6'3" or even 6'3.5" at peak. By seeing these two photos in my my opinion rathbone or peck were under 6'3". There heights were 6'2.5" solid. Nigel bruce was solid 6'1.5" same as grant and an inch shorter than rathbone.He is solid 6'2.5"/189cm.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 18/Jun/18
Okay I’m sorry but 6ft3 is ridiculous. That places Aubrey Smith over 6ft4, Vincent Price at almost 6ft6, Errol Flynn also at 6ft3 and Nigel Bruce almost 6ft2.

6ft1½ is arguable and I can understand 6ft2 guesses up to a point but 6ft3 is pushing the boundaries. Maybe in some shoes he could have approached that mark but no way barefoot.
Neelasish Sen Roy said on 16/Jun/18
In all Results Sir Basil Rathbone was bare minimum 189cm (6'2.5"), more likely 190cm (6'2.75") IF NOT the full 6ft3/191cm.
Rabindra sankar sen roy said on 15/Jun/18
He is solid 6'2" in court jester with 6'6" Alan Napier.
Rabindra sankar sen roy said on 15/Jun/18
Sir Basil Rathbone was 6'3"/191cm tall and 200 pounds in weight when he was an intelligence officer. He was strong 6'3" at youth and 6'1" at oldage.
Rabindra sankar sen roy said on 15/Jun/18
I think sir basil rathbone is solid 6'3". He is not more than an inch shorter than vincent price in the tower of london.Dennis hoey is 6'4" or even 6'4.5" with john wayne who is 6'3.75" tall. Cary Grant and Nigel Bruce both are 6'1.5" tall so they are 1.5" shorter than Rathbone.In adventure of marco polo Gary Cooper is is solid 6'3.5" at than time. Errol Flynn is 6'2.5"& looks 0.5" shorter than Sir Rathbone.Rathbone george sanders, randolph scott and fred mcmurray both both are 6'3". Rathbone is an inch shorter than 6'4". Aubrey smith. I think Sir Basil Rathbone and Gregory peck had same height 6'3"/191cm.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 4/Feb/18
Good shout, Rob!
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 3/Feb/18
Agreed...same neighbourhood as Errol
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 2/Feb/18
But Rob are either of those figures likely for him, like maybe if he got measured earlier in the day?



Click Here w/h 186-187cm Errol Flynn
Click Here w/h 181cm David Niven
Click Here w/h 184-185cm Douglas Fairbanks and C. Aubrey Smith (bare minimum 189cm, more likely 190cm IF NOT the full 6ft3)


Certainly a solid case for 186cm, I think. The guy had good posture and stacked up well next to other tall guys like Vincent Price, Aubrey and Christopher Lee
Editor Rob
a case for 186cm is certainly realistic, he might have managed 6ft 2 out of bed.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 1/Feb/18
Rob, how accurate is that description?


Seems rather precise. Definitely a solid 6ft1er at least

Editor Rob
It could mean he was in some literature as something like 6ft 1 ½ or even 6ft 1 ¾. Usually there would be publicity information about actors floating around, and that would be a likely figure for him to be described a fraction under 6ft 2.
Mister lennon said on 17/Dec/17
I think that he was a strong 6'1. 186-187.
James said on 14/Dec/17
Rathbone was clearly taller than Flynn.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 21/Mar/17
I think possibly 186cm. Looked similar to Flynn
Tall In The Saddle said on 9/Mar/17
I agree Rathbone was 6'1" and in fact appeared taller than Flynn in their films except for close ups in which Errol always "gained" some equalizing height.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 28/Aug/16
Rob, which of these is likely?

A) 188cm/186cm
B) 187.5cm/185.5cm
C) 187cm/185cm
D) 186.5cm/184.5cm
E) 186cm/184cm
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 25/Jun/16
Didn't look more than 3in shorter than Vincent Price.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 4/Mar/16
Another legit 6ft1er. It's always the older guys who were listed accurately by their agencies. Like Lugosi, this guy may also have been a fraction over it.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 15/Jan/16
I think Flynn was 6ft1-2 range
Sam said on 20/Aug/15
Haha, nevermind. Another look at Rathbone and Flynn and Rathbone actually looks to sometimes edge Flynn out...my eyes must have been deceiving me.
Click Here
Sam said on 20/Aug/15
Rob, would you downgrade Rathbone in light of Flynn's downgrade?
[Editor Rob: I'm not sure Basil actually looks noticeably different]
Sam said on 19/Aug/15
If Errol Flynn was only 6'1", that would put Rathbone at 6'0.5" max I believe.
Steve said on 10/Jun/15
I'm watching a film he appeared in with Red Skelton. Surprising that he was roughly an inch and a half shorter than Skelton. So either Skelton was just under 6' or Rathbone wasn't 6'1".
Sam said on 20/Oct/14
Rob, could you add "best known for his roles in David Copperfield, Captain Blood, Romeo and Juliet, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Son of Frankenstein, The Hound of Baskervilles, Tower of London, The Mark of Zorro, The Court Jester and Tales of Terror."?
Sam said on 11/Jun/13
He could look about an inch shorter than Errol Flynn, so pretty accurate. May have peaked closer to 6'1.5".
John said on 4/Nov/11
It's all about camera angles. Rtahbone was 6'1 or 6...
danR said on 1/Oct/11
I'm a big Basil Rathbone fan, but:

I have seen the Holmes movies many many times, and Rathbone is well under Hoey's 6'3. He's not an inch shorter by any means. Hoey often seems to tower over him, and never looks LESS than an inch taller than Rathbone, and then he's probably relaxed. I'm often thinking to myself something like, 'geez Hoey must be pretty tall...'. I'd say Rathbone was at best 6 foot even, no taller, no matter what he said.

He may have been 6'1 in his youth, but by the Holmes series, no. People tend to name their young height to the end of their days, and it was only in my youth I measured myself. I was 5'9 3/4, called myself 5'10, and still do, though that's very unlikely now.
Paul said on 22/Jul/06
In the summer 2006 issue of "Films of the Golden Age" magazine there is an extensive article about Dennis Hoey (Inspector Lestrade) in which his son says his dad was 6'3". The article includes a picture of Hoey standing right next to John Wayne as they face each other (it's a still from a movie). I can't tell any significant difference between the two height wise. Assuming Wayne was close to his advertised height of 6'4" (which I believe he was), Hoey was indeed 6'3" and Rathbone, at least in his younger years, was a solid 6'1".
Frank2 said on 3/Jun/06
He stated himself when he appeared in person in Los Angeles at a screening of his films that he was 6'1". I seriously doubt he was any taller.

Nigel Bruce was 6' even. Here's Rathbone with Bruce: Click Here
Rathbone was consistantly one inch taller than Bruce.

sam said on 3/Jun/06
Rathbone was often listed as 6'3", but he was 6'1 3/4".
Bleemo said on 17/Apr/06
Yeah I watched a couple of the sherlock holmes films last night and I have to admit Hoey can look almost 2 inches taller at times. But like I say Hoey is most consistently listed as 6'2.5 and he does look like a really big, broad guy.

Incidentally does anyone know how tall Rondo Hatton was? he was in one of the episodes as the creeper. According to IMBD he had acromegaly which caused his terrorfying appearence, but it doesn't list his height, he did look bigish.
Frank2 said on 15/Apr/06
I found it amusing reading Cheney in an interview claiming he was no more than 6'. I watched High Noon again and Lon is about an inch to and inch and a half shorter than 6'3" Gary Cooper. I suspect he was at least 6'2" when he was young, possibly even 6'3".

Here's actor Phil Brown who played Luke Skywalker's stepfather in Star Wars next to Lon: Click Here
Brown was about 5'10".

Here's Lon with 6' Farley Granger: Click Here
The film is Behave Yourself! which I thought was quite funny. It co-starred Shelley Winters. The IMDb lists Granger as being 6'1" which simply isn't the case. He and 6' Robert Walker were the same height in Stangers on a Train and Granger was three inches shorter than Jimmy Stewart and an inch shorter than 6'1" John Dall in Rope. Score another miss for the good, old IMDb. Well, at least they have John Dall's correct height listed.

Are those lifts on Granger?: Click Here
Hmmmmmm.....

Granger next to Stewart and 6'1" John Dall: Click Here
Good article!
larry said on 15/Apr/06
Well, Paul - Chaney Jr was barefoot, in hospital pijamas in the scene with Mr. Hoey, so Hoey may not really have been taller than 6'2" Lon Chaney Jr. But Chaney might have been 6'2.5" at that age. ??? Anyway, Rathbone always looked 6'1-6'1.5" to me.
Frank2 said on 14/Apr/06
Basil with 5'7" Tommie Kirk and 5'2" Quinn O'Hara: Click Here

Frank2 said on 14/Apr/06
Esther with 6'2" Van Johnson and 5'6" Lucille Ball: Click Here

Esther and 5'9" Kenneth Branagh: Click Here
Esther had shrunk a bit by the time of this photo. She's now unfortunately in a wheelchair.

Frank2 said on 14/Apr/06
Basil with 5'6" Irving Thalberg and 5' Norma Sheerer (Mrs. Thalberg): Click Here

Basil with 6'1' Red Skelton, 5'7" Esther Williams and 5'4" Jean Porter: Click Here

Frank2 said on 14/Apr/06
Here's Basil with 5'8" Leo G. Carroll and 5'7" Bogart: Click Here

Rathbone looking slightly taller than 6'1" Errol Flynn: Click Here

Paul said on 13/Apr/06
Hoey was definitely more than an inch taller in Rathbone. I can't do screencaps from DVDs but there are various scenes in the Holmes movies where the two are standing side by side and one sees a noticable gap. If Hoey was taller than Lon Jr then he'd be about 6'3".

Here's a good picture of Rathbone and Bruce where you can see the former is about an inch taller which supports the 6'1" height (Bruce was 6').
Click Here





larry said on 13/Apr/06
Frank2 - Thanks! Dennis Hoey was in many Universal movies from the 30's and 40's. He played police detectives often. I've seen him listed as 6'2.5" to 6'3". In the scenes with Chaney Jr. in FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN Mr. Hoey looks 1" taller than Lon, but Lon is barefoot. Also, Rathbone looked about 2.5-3.0" less than 6'4" Vincent Price in TALES OF TERROR. Basil WAS quite old then, but I'd say a solid 6'1".
Jason said on 12/Apr/06
So was he 6'1'' or 6'1 1/2''? Not that half an inch matters that much lol.

[Editor Rob: hey, 1/2 inches are always argued over on this site ;-0]
Frank2 said on 12/Apr/06
British character actor Dennis Hoey who played Insepctor Lestrade was about 6'2" and looked about an inch taller than Rathbone.

Watch the classic comedy film The Court Jester and you'll see that Rathbone is two inches taller than 5'11" Danny Kaye.
Bleemo said on 12/Apr/06
Yeah this guy always looked like a pretty tall guy for his time. I've got the box set of the Sherlock Holmes films and a few of his other films like Robin Hood. He's always one of the tallest on screen if not the tallest. The guy who plays lestrade in those Sherlock holmes flicks is listed as 6'2.5 on a few sites and that does look right in relation to Rathbone. I also think the Nigel Bruce 6' listing is very accurate and a superb Dr Watson.
Frank2 said on 12/Apr/06
Rathbone clearly stated he was 6'1" when he appeared at a lecture conducted at The Wilshire Ebel Theater in LA back in the early 1960's. I used to have the article with the text. Nigel Bruce was an even 6' and in every film they did together, Rathbone looks to be about an inch taller. Dr. Acula (Forry) was about 6'.
larry said on 12/Apr/06
Frank2 - YOUR Mom too!!! Et tu Momma!!! :-) Used to pay 25 cents per issue. Even had issue number one!!! Dr. Acula always described himself as 6 foot and he looked it in his many cameo appearances. Seemed like a very fun guy. I think I heard he was cheated out of the rights to the magazine? Do they still publish it? Rathbone is my favorite Sherlock Holmes, with Nigel Bruce as Watson. Didn't Lionel Atwell play Moriarity? Many happy memories. :-)
Paul said on 11/Apr/06
Basil could very well have been 6'1.5". That's the height I've seen associated with him for many years and it appears quite reasonable based on his on screen appearances. After all, if he was going to lie about it, why wouldn't he just round it up to 6'2"? Even in his later movies, he appears to have retained most of his height.

Nigel Bruce was a tall man also; he appears to be just a shade shorter than Rathbone. I would guess him to be approximately 6'. He was virtually the same size as Cary Grant and Ronald Reagan in movies he made with them (Suspicion and Hong Kong, respectively).

The tallest recurring actor in the Rathbone Holmes series was Dennis Hoey who played Inspector Lestrade. He appears to be 2 to 3 inches taller than Rathbone.

Frank2 said on 11/Apr/06
I used to know Forry Ackerman and even went over to his home, the Ackermansion. I had all of his magazines as a kid. Then one day my mom was cleaning out the garage.....
larry said on 11/Apr/06
Wish I could find the old Famous Monsters of Filmland mags I once had. On the set of SON OF FRANKENSTEIN Basil looked the same height as 6'1" Lugosi. I THINK that was circa '38?
Jason said on 11/Apr/06
I'd sooner take a listed height I found scribbled on a piece of toilet paper in a men's room than IMDB. That goes for Wikipedia, too.
Frank2 said on 9/Apr/06
Thanks Tiger. I'll take that as an endorsement, not as the facetious comment that you intended it to be. And I am right.
Tiger said on 9/Apr/06
Always take Frank2's word over ANY documentation! He has the final say :)
Frank2 said on 9/Apr/06
Never believe the IMDB when it comes to heights.

Heights are barefeet estimates, derived from quotations, official websites, agency resumes, in person encounters with actors at conventions and pictures/films.

Other vital statistics like weight, shoe or bra size measurements have been sourced from newspapers, books, resumes or social media.

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